Penn State freshman Kiara Zanon tallied 10 goals among 30 points during the 2020-21 season for the Nittany Lions, taking home national rookie of the year honors in the process (photo: Penn State Athletics).

Defending regular season champion Penn State tops the CHA preseason coaches’ poll, which was released Thursday.

The Nittany Lions garnered four of four possible first-place votes in balloting among CHA head coaches (coaches could not vote for their own teams) for 20 points, three more than No. 2 Syracuse, which tallied 17 points and received the remaining first-place vote.

In addition, the league announced individual preseason honors as Penn State sophomore forward Kiara Zanon is the preseason player of the year and freshmen forwards Sarah Marchand (Syracuse) and Vanessa Upson (Mercyhurst) are preseason rookies of the year while seven players were named to the preseason All-CHA Team.

2021-22 CHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rank Team (First-place votes) Points
1. Penn State (4) 20
2. Syracuse (1) 17
3. Mercyhurst 14
4. Lindenwood 11
5. RIT 8

Coaches’ Preseason All-CHA Team

Kiara Zanon, So., Penn State (4 votes)
Abby Moloughney, Sr., Syracuse (3)
Natalie Heising, Sr., Penn State (3)

Jessica DiGirolamo, Gr., Syracuse (4)
Izzy Heminger, Sr., Penn State (3)

Goaltender (tie)
Josie Bothun, So., Penn State (2)
Allison Small, Gr., Syracuse (2)

Coaches could not vote for their own players.

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